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Lauded rocker Chris Cornell killed himself by hanging

20 May 2017

Pop legend Elton John said he was "shocked and saddened" by the death of Chris Cornell, calling him "a great singer, songwriter and the loveliest man".

Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page tweeted: "RIP Chris Cornell".

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File).

Chris Cornell, the emblematic grunge rock singer whose sweeping voice masked lifelong struggles with drugs and depression, hanged himself late Wednesday moments after finishing a concert.

The Cornell family released a statement on Friday, noting that they are "disturbed" at reports the Soundgarden frontman, 52, "intentionally and knowingly" committed suicide.

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Chris Cornell, whose band Soundgarden was one of the architects of grunge music, was found dead early today in his MGM Grand hotel room in downtown Detroit.

The family said that without toxicology tests completed, they can't be sure what led to his death, or if any substances were involved.

Vicky Cornell, Cornell's wife, said that when she spoke to her husband after the Detroit show, he told her he may have taken "an extra Ativan or two". Ativan, a sedative, has side effects that can include drowsiness and dizziness, according to the National Institutes of Health. He was my best friend.

"Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages".

Cornell has battled addiction problems in the past.

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In a 1994 Rolling Stone article, he described himself as a "daily drug user at 13, " who had quit by the time he had turned 14.

In a past interview Cornell beamed over his wife saying: "When I met my wife Vicky's family, I had to go out of my way to convince them - to show them - that I wasn't anything like their idea of a musician". He never completed high school and said he barely talked to anyone for two years as a teenager. "All the friends that I had were still (messed) up with drugs and were people that I didn't really have anything in common with".

The unnamed friend discovered the musician on the bathroom floor of his hotel room. She said "he was different", and she contacted security to check on him. "What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details". It was a gift he put to good use with Soundgarden, as well as with Audioslave, the band he founded with members of Rage Against the Machine in the years after Soundgarden's 1997 break-up (he also sang with Temple of the Dog, an early '90s collaboration with members of Pearl Jam).

Soundgarden's support band The Dillinger Escape Plan spoke about how Chris had been on the rest of the tour.

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Lauded rocker Chris Cornell killed himself by hanging